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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
I love classic vampires (stay away sparklies!). And I love Japan even more. Yet when I read the description of Sword of the Undead by Steven Fujita, I was quite skeptical. A combination of the classic Bram Stoker Dracula story and Japanese history? Boy, I thought, that's ambitious and it'll be rubbish - just like most vampire books these days. I was pleasantly surprised, because I was absolutely wrong.
Sword of the Undead by Steven Fujita takes the original Bram Stoker Dracula story and replaces the Romanian count Dracul with a Japanese lord called Kageura. He commissioned a Japanese castle built in the USA, and Jonathan Harker travels to Japan to let Kageura know that the castle is finished. The lord, however, does not plan on letting Harker go again. He is a prisoner in the castle, and once Kageura leaves to go to the US, he leaves Harker for his three lady vampires. In the US, Lucy Westerna dies after all attempts to help her fail. A vampire is to blame. And the story kind of goes on like in the original Dracula, just with a bit of a Japanese twist, especially when another famous Japanese person appears.
I found this little novel a very entertaining read, and it also is quite informative when it comes to Japanese history. It does not pack in an overwhelming amount of history lessons, but enough to make things believable - and it'll be a nice lesson for people who don't know much about Japanese history (yet). While the plot itself is hardly surprising, just a bit different, it is a very well done adaption of a classic.